News of the Green
The following is a news release from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
NEW HAVEN — A national policy to cut carbon emissions by as much as 40 percent over the next 20 years could still result in increased economic growth, according to an interactive Web site reviewing 25 of the leading economic models being used to predict the economic impacts of reducing emissions.
Robert Repetto, professor in the practice of economics and sustainable development at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, who created the site, said, "As Congress prepares to debate new legislation to address the threat of climate change, opponents claim that the costs of adopting the leading proposals would be ruinous to the U.S. economy. The world's leading economists who have studied the issue say thats wrong."
But find out for yourself.
The interactive site, http://www.climate.yale.edu/seeforyourself/, synthesized thousands of policy analyses in order to identify the seven key assumptions accounting for most of the differences in the models predictions. The site allows visitors to choose which assumptions they feel are most realistic and then view the predictions of the economic models on the basis of the chosen assumptions.
Among the key assumptions are that renewable energy technologies will be available at stable or increasing prices; that higher fossil fuel prices will stimulate energy-saving technological change; that reducing U.S. carbon emissions will reduce economic damages from climate change and air pollution; and that the United States will incorporate international trading of emission permits into its national policy.
Even under most pessimistic assumptions, U.S. Gross Domestic Product would still grow by 2.4 percent per year, reaching $2.3 trillion by 2030 even if emissions are reduced by 40 percent below projected business-as-usual trends, as compared to historical growth rates of 3 percent a year over recent decades. Under the most favorable assumptions, GDP would rise slightly above 3 percent a year.
"The site shows that even under the most unfavorable assumptions regarding costs, the U.S. economy is predicted to continue growing robustly as carbon emissions are reduced," said Repetto.
"Under favorable assumptions, the economy would grow more rapidly if emissions are reduced through national policy measures than if they are allowed to increase as in the past," Repetto said.